Arugula addiction!

arugulaI admit to a full-blown arugula addiction.  It’s the first thing I think of when I’m planning a garden, because arugula has to be planted early.  The happy result is that it’s ready to pick in late spring, when winter fruit is losing it’s appeal, and summer vegetables and fruits are weeks away.

Arugula is probably not for everyone.  It’s expensive and most arugula in grocery stores in the Baby variety, small and less flavorful.  Straight from the garden, arugula could be described as “zesty”, or possibly as bitter or strong.  Because of the strong flavor, it mixes well with other milder greens like leaf lettuce, giving your tossed salad more zing.  Another great use is on pizza.  And you don’t even have to make your own pizza from scratch.  Whether you’re cooking a frozen pizza or reheating a take out pizza, spread a layer of arugula on the top for the last 2 minutes of cooking.  The arugula perks up a plain cheese pizza, or a white pizza topped with just mozzarella, herbs and olive oil.

Arugula nutrition

It’s a bit difficult to give hard numbers for “1 cup” of arugula, because it really depends on how tightly you pack the leaves, which depends on the size of the leaves.  Here are some nutritional values for 100 grams of arugula.  1 cup of loosely packed leaves is 10-15 grams.

  • 25 calories
  • 2.6 grams protein (not bad for a leafy vegetable)
  • 1.6 grams fiber
  • 1.5 mg iron (not bad for 25 calories)
  • 370 mg potassium
  • Significant source of vitamin A, folate, vitamin C and vitamin K
  • Low sodium, sugar and fat.

What to do with arugula:

Arugula is really at its best when fresh.

  1. Make salad: for the addicted, all you need is a big bowl of arugula with perhaps some tomato or cucumber and an olive oil vinaigrette.  For the less enthusiastic, add it to lettuce salads.
  2. Use for sandwiches: goes great with cheeses, avocado, turkey, chicken and bacon.
  3. Put it on burgers.
  4. Add to cheese/veggie pizzas
  5. Add chopped arugula leaves to chicken salad or bean salad (especially with garbanzo beans)
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